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Arlington Restaurant, Retail Spending Booming

by ARLnow.com August 20, 2010 at 9:45 am 1,718 12 Comments

As we’ve reported before, Arlington’s unemployment rate has stayed remarkably low during the course of the recession. But in case you needed further proof of the resilience of the county’s economy, look no further than the way money is being spent in Arlington.

A newsletter from Arlington’s economic development authority reveals that local spending on restaurants and retail goods is up significantly compared to 2009.

The meals taxes payed by Arlington restaurants jumped by 9.2 percent for the first three months of the year, according to Arlington Economic Development. In addition to the booming restaurant receipts, retail sales rose 11.2 percent in March.

While Arlington’s economy is chugging along now, concerns still remain about cuts to the defense budget and the impending exodus of BRAC-impacted defense employees.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Looking past the cherry picking data exercise performed by development authority bureaucrats seeking to curry favor with their one-party leaders, let’s see what the data actually show.

    The trend in meals tax receipts is down through most of the year and also down year over year (-1.4% by my calculation) …..


    As for March retail sales taxes, of course retail sales popped in March when we were released from the grips of cabin fever as Snowpocalypse 1 & 2 melted away.

    For a comparison that is unaffected by seasonal quirks we can look at retail sales for the 12 months ending March, compared to the previous year also ending in March — receipts are down (approximately 0.6 percent by my calculation). See….


    • Fat Kid.

      cherry picked or not… the county is doing extremely well compared to the rest of the country.

    • Just the Facts

      @LBF: I guess it’s all how (badly) you want to look at it. After trending down for 6 months, meals tax assessments are showing a strong two-month growth. In addition, after being below the running 13-month average for five months, March 10 assessments were close to the average.

      As for sales tax, assuming your calculations are right, a year-over-year change of -0.6 percent is insignficant and certainly acceptable considering the overall economic picture.

      It’s the classic glass half-full/half-empty question. It’s certainly no surprise you’re seeing news about the county as half-empty.

      • TGEoA

        Just a shill is more like it.

      • Let’s Be Free

        I’ll buy half empty/half full. I won’t buy leading with 9.2 and 11.6 percent growth rates as fairly characterizing what’s going on locally.

        And there is no question that Arlington is doing better economically than almost anywhere else in the US east of the Mississippi due to its location and the enormous and continuously growing sums of money that have been dumped directly and indirectly into the economy during the last decade by the Federal Government.

        • Clarendude

          The proximity of the Federal government is this regions’ “natural resource”. We don’t have beautiful mountains, or oceanside, or a great Seaport, or other natural resources that would support an industry like coal, oil, lumber etc. But, I’d say that Arlington has done a decent job at leveraging what we do have. Houston, for example, has a much wealthier resource in the oil industry and not only is the place pretty ugly but they are having major budget issues this year.

  • Efrem

    It’s too bad that the rest of America doesn’t follow the Obama progressive doctrine like we do in Arlington and the national economy would be doing alright. I am so glad that I saw the progressive light and now I can see why the rest of America is out of touch.

    • JR

      sure – when you have 1/2 your citizens be overpaid by the federal government it’s easy to do well… but i’m not sure that is a sustainable model for any economy.

      • fatkidspecial

        overpaid by the federal government? i guess it depends on where you work, but most federal employees i know would receive significant salary increases if they were to switch to the private sector. Yes, I am well aware of the people who are essentially in make-work jobs or don’t do shit all day, and that’s annoying… but for the most part you are completely off.

        I know, Drudge and Glenn Beck have been going after this the past couple weeks, but that doesn’t mean you have to regurgitate bullshit. The studies you are likely to cite fail to account for work experience and education levels, two significant factors in salary calculations.

  • Smartgirl

    Can we start a petition to give Chicos the boot? No one should be caught dead in that garb.

    • Katie

      I walked in there once and was really embarrassed. No one I know saw me though. Phew.


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